Evan McGilvray
ARRSE Rating
3.5 Mushroom Heads
Despite a long military career and achieving Field Marshal’s rank Auchinleck has attracted few biographers. John Connell and more recently , Philip Warner come to mind. Barrie Pitt examined the Western Desert command as did Hart–Davis some decades ago. Part of this may be due to Auchinleck not publishing a post war biography and also due to so much attention focusing on Montgomery. However, being the only Indian Army officer called to England to command an entirely British corps he is surely worthy of study.

The author concentrates on Auchinleck’s career and we are left with a limited insight into the man himself, nothing of the Wellington years really. The military career is covered in some detail with a good set of notes for the serious reader. The book runs to 235 pages and is arranged in ten chapters with some good quality photographs. Gunners will enjoy the Bofors picture.

Auchinleck’s career began at RMAS just before the longer course was introduced. Within a year he was posted to 62nd Punjabis and subsequently to KSLI. In due course he served in the Middle East and this was to be invaluable experience for his later career.

The Second World War saw service in Norway as well as the Middle East and later India as well as the pre independence period.

The book is carefully written and forms a useful addition to the canon of Second World War biographies.

The cover price is £25 and copies can be found on line from £17.99 Kindle £5.99

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